The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has cautioned landlords in Kiambu against discharging raw sewer into the road illegally, as this could attract a fine of Sh 4 million or a four-year jail term.
This came up after residents of Kirigiti in Kiambu sub-county protested over illegal raw sewer discharge from various buildings recently prompting the environment watchdog to swing into action.
Speaking to KNA Kiambu NEMA director Stephen Wambua warned unscrupulous landlords who have illegally fitted underground sewer pipes directing the effluent to the roads or neighboring plots.
Wambua said the raw sewer that have been released to flow freely in residential areas and roads have enveloped the atmosphere with a foul smell, therefore, polluting the environment.
“This is a warning to landlords who have been discharging untreated sewer to public roads, this is an offence that is punishable by law and one can be prosecuted before a court of law,” he said.
The NEMA director further cited that a new sewer line is underway that will serve Kirigiti and its environs hence the landlords are advised to dispose their waste both solid and liquid using professional registered exhausters services.
“In some rental plots, the raw sewer is directed to the adjacent feeder roads with some landlords unable to control raw sewer from filled septic tanks,” said Wambua
Margaret Njeri a resident said that they have regularly reported the problem to the authorities for fear that the sewage will contaminate groundwater and cause waterborne diseases.
“Ailments like stomach aches and diarrhea among children have been rampant in the area and we suspect it is caused by the raw sewer that they come in contact with while they play,” she said.
According to a night guard in one of the flats who sought anonymity, he gets instructions from the landlord to pump the sewer into the road thrice a month.
“Using a pump that is connected to the septic tank, I am instructed to pump kitchen waste and toilet waste, from midnight to around 4am,” he said.
Simon Mburu a roadside fruit vendor said the raw sewage has disadvantaged his business as customers are kept off by the awful stench emanating from the spilled sewage.
Philip Waihenya a local resident, urged NEMA and Kiambu county government to intervene as the construction of the multimillion Kirigiti stadium is expected to attract investors and businesses in the area.
By Grace Naishoo